Series: The Call of the Rift #1
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
A rebellious heroine faces a colonial world coming unstitched in Jae Waller's stunning debut fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Kateiko doesn’t want to be Rin anymore — not if it means sacrificing lives to protect the dead. Her only way out is to join another tribe, a one-way trek through the coastal rainforest. Killing a colonial soldier in the woods isn’t part of the plan. Neither is spending the winter with Tiernan, an immigrant who keeps a sword with his carpentry tools. His log cabin leaks and his stories about other worlds raise more questions than they answer.
Then the air spirit Suriel, long thought dormant, resurrects a war. For Kateiko, protecting other tribes in her confederacy is atonement. For Tiernan, war is a return to the military life he’s desperate to forget.
Leaving Tiernan means losing the one man Kateiko trusts. Staying with him means abandoning colonists to a death sentence. In a region tainted by prejudice and on the brink of civil war, she has to decide what’s worth dying — or killing — for.
Chapter 1 Excerpt
The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller
“Ouch!” I cursed under my breath and sucked on the line of blood that appeared across my thumb.“You’re doing it wrong.” Fendul took my hunting knife and peeled a curl of dark wood from the palm-sized figurine. “Hold it like this. You’ll stab yourself in the gut otherwise.”“Nei. It doesn’t work that way.” I yanked it back from him.We sat cross-legged on the rocky beach of Kotula Huin, a still, glacial lake. Drifts of fog surrounded us. Colossal hills loomed over the valley, its dense layer of trees barely visible against the dark sky. A dull pink glow silhouetted the jagged peaks to our right. Behind us, the forest dripped. My fingers were too damp to grip the rawhide cord wrapped around my bone knife.Voices drifted down the shoreline. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” I asked.Fendul shrugged. “Not until the ceremony starts.”“So you’re up this early for the fun of it.” I rolled my eyes. I’d been awake for an hour already drying wood for a bonfire, along with my aunt Isu and three others who’d spent years learning to call water. Our skills weren’t usually required so early in the morning, otherwise I might’ve been more reluctant to learn. Not that I had much choice. As the eldest — and only — child of an antayul, I was bound by custom to become one as well.I bent my head over the driftwood. In my peripheral vision, I saw Fendul tossing a stone from hand to hand.“Can you stop that?”The stone fell with a clatter. “Concentration conquers distraction.”“Don’t underestimate yourself,” I muttered.“Ever consider I’m not the problem?”“Ever consider shutting up?” I tossed my knife away and flopped backward, piling my hair into a pillow.Fendul’s face appeared in my field of vision. We shared the same dark eyes, sharp features, and wiry build. Even after a summer apart, our skin had tanned to the same warm, muted shade — but while my light brown hair spilled past my waist, his hair was charcoal black and cropped short. We didn’t have much choice in that either. He couldn’t grow his long until he married. I’d never been allowed to cut my hair and never would be.His amulet swung back and forth as he leaned over me. I reached up as if to touch the crow, carved from a black shark tooth, then pushed on Fendul’s bare chest. “You’re blocking my view.”“Of what? It’s barely light.”“Of the clouds, bludgehead.”“Come on. Try again.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me upright. I sighed and picked up the knife, letting him place my hands in what he insisted was the right position.“What is that? A fox?” he asked.“Nei.” I could hear the pressure to elaborate. “It’s a wolf.”“That’s not the colour used for wolves. Lighter wood is more suited to . . .”I stared at him. He trailed off. Without breaking eye contact, I flipped the figurine over my shoulder. It rustled through some bushes and thumped to the ground. He muttered something that sounded like “immature.”The clouds were brightening, turning pale pink and white like the smooth rocks I used to collect from creeks. The lake was turning turquoise. I stood up and sheathed the knife at my back next to my throwing dagger. “I’m going to find Nili.”
Excerpted from The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller. © 2018 by Jae Waller. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. www.ecwpress.com
About the Author:
Jae Waller grew up in a lumber town in northern British Columbia. She has a joint B.F.A. in creative writing and fine art from the University of Northern British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Now living in Melbourne, Australia, she works as a novelist and freelance artist.